Monday, August 20, 2012

Rowing races


I continued my rowing machine adventures this afternoon. My favourite two machines used to be one behind the other, beside windows overlooking the pool. But today the back one had been moved up to beside the other. The pool-view machine was taken, and I figured the second one was still better than the pair downstairs behind the treamills.

The older guy next to me was doing about my speed but we weren't synchronised and I found that vaguely uncomfortable, like trying to dance out of time with music. I tried to ignore him. He soon got off, anyway. I started my row with lots of little niggles that made me think I might stop sooner than 30 mins; my lower back ached almost at once, then a knee felt a bit sore, then one foot ... but after a while I felt better so I just kept going. I was rowing at a decent pace for me, between 30 and 33 spins per minute.

Then another guy got onto the machine next to me and instantly set off on a cracking pace. I sped up to match, I almost couldn't help it. 38 spins per minute, far above my comfort zone! I couldn't keep it up for long, though, I had to drop back to my usual pace. I felt a bit silly trying to keep up, but I kept surreptitiously glacing over at his screen wishing I could go that fast. Then he stopped! He was only doing a 5 min sprint. So maybe he couldn't go that fast for 30 mins either.

That little effort to keep up with him had used up most of my energy stores and the rest of the row was a real struggle. I wanted to sprint at the end but just didn't have anything left. Nevertheless, in my 30 mins I went 4.74 km -- 0.5 km further than last time! A huge improvement. So maybe that little race, which the other guy probably wasn't even aware of, helped me. Or maybe not, without that I would have sprinted at the end instead of in the middle, and I was going at a better pace than previously for the whole row. Anyway, I feel like I am getting close to my goal of 5 km.

photo by CircaSassy

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